Heterosexism and the Straight Privilege – A Plea for Help
I received this plea for help from a friend in Baltimore asking that I accumulate some thoughts and information for her regarding the effects of heterosexism in the college environment. Please read below and feel free to email her directly, post your thoughts here or send them to me. This is a very important topic and your feedback and assistance will be invaluable.
I’m a faculty member at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland, and this Friday, June 5, 2009, I will be giving a workshop to a group of my colleagues on heterosexism and straight privilege. This workshop is taking place within the larger context of a two-week-long workshop on culturally responsive pedagogy, in which participants (all faculty members) will be laying bare issues of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. The group is small, but they are influential within the college and will have the opportunity to touch many students’ lives over the course of their careers.
Given this, I have come seeking your assistance. I would like to go before my colleagues with something more than my own experience and citations from a few dry, scholarly journals in my hand. I would like to carry your voices, your concerns to my fellow educators. If you are interested in being a part of my informal survey, please answer any or all of the following questions. You can message your responses to me on Gay Wallet, or you can e-mail them directly to me.
- If you have been a college student, what were/are your experiences with heterosexism in the classroom?
- What do you want straight educators to know about who you are and what it means to be queer in a straight world?
- What would you like to see done differently in college classrooms so that they are safer, more inclusive places for everyone?
I hope to use some of the feedback I get in my discussion on Friday. I will reveal identities of posters only if they grant me express permission to do so; otherwise, contributions will remain anonymous.
Thank you so much for helping me to bring truth and substance to my presentation.
Mary Jo Garcia
Assistant Professor of English
Community College of Baltimore County